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Online ISSN 1827-174X
Sbordone L., Di Genio M., Bortolaia C.
Strong relationships have been very often described between various form of periodontal disease (PD) and certain bacterial species, so that nowadays periodontal disease is recognized as an infectious disease. Destruction of periodontal supporting tissues happens as a response to very intricate host-parasite interactions. When the clinician will be able to fully understand and identify such phenomena it would be possible to succeed in a properly diagnosis and control of the active phase of periodontal disease. The first step in such a direction would be to analyze the common characteristic of some bacterial species, the so called suspected periodontopathogens. Such species namely Gram-negative, associated with the outbreak of periodontal disease have in common the capacity to disrupt the integrity of the host defences by means of the so called virulence factors. These factors may enhance the bacterial colonization or may interfere with the host response that ultimately results in periodontal support breakdown. The present review focuses on the virulence factors of the main suspected periodontopathogens evaluating the effects on the host immune response and directly on the periodontal tissues.